In this lively and accessible book, Alyce McKenzie explores how fiction writers approach the task of writing novels: how they develop their ideas, where they find their inspiration, and how they turn the spark of a creative notion into words on paper that will captivate the masses. McKenzie's study shows how preachers can use the same techniques to enhance their own creativity and to turn their ideas into powerful, well crafted sermons. Novel Preaching offers a wealth of advice from successful fiction writers, including Isabelle Allende, Frederick Buechner, Julia Cameron, Annie Dillard, Natalie Goldberg, Stephen King, Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, and Melanie Rae Thorn, and also includes a number of sample sermons from McKenzie herself.
"In this fresh and helpful book, Alyce McKenzie invites novelists and preachers into a richly textured conversation and uncovers habits, perspectives, and tools that have the potential to change the reader's vocation and practice of preaching. This is not just a book of 'hints and helps for preachers.' It is a challenge to rethink preaching as an act of biblically-centered, inspired imagination." John S. McClure, Vanderbilt Divinity School, Nashville, Tennessee "McKenzie invites preachers to a writers' conference. Bring your biblical and theological skills and settle in for front porch time with the other conference participants: imagination, attention, character, and plot." Jennifer L. Lord, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary "McKenzie, aware that our culture is hungry for savvy faith but quickly bored by religious chatter, turns to novelists for help in the preaching craft. To our delight, while McKenzie urges preachers to attend to life around us, to exercise our imaginations, and to summon startlingly fresh language, she models before our eyes those very virtues." Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA